There are a multitude of reasons that motivate people to consider a career change in the New Year. Our advice. If you are thinking about seeking a new opportunity, regardless of the time of year, then there’s usually a reason behind it. Don’t ignore your intuition, harness that momentum to propel you forward and make a change. On the positive side, January/February are good months to find a job.

Why now?

Returning from the end of year holiday break feeling all refreshed, gives you an inquisitive energy or clarity of thought where you can objectively assess your situation and ask yourself if you are where you’d like to be in your career.

Everyone has good and bad days at work, so it’s important to reflect on the underlying cause of your unease. Of course, we’re all incredibly grateful to be in the position of being employed and having the luxury of considering a leap toward something new. But “gratitude shaming” shouldn’t hold you back from wanting more.

According to online job site SEEK, Kiwi’s typically make a role or job change because of salary, work-life balance, or career progression.

In our experience working alongside candidates, salary alone is not an ideal driver when considering a career move. The research backs this up, at a certain level there’s no correlation between your wage and emotional wellbeing. And when it comes to work-life balance, ask yourself is it your work environment that is truly preventing you from achieving greater balance, or, are there steps you can take to integrate all of the aspects of your life to create a healthy balance?

About career progression…

From our point of view, career progression is an all-encompassing term that basically boils down to that itching you feel for change. And it’s not just the obvious scenario where you have an ambitious career path in mind and know the timing is right for progression, or perhaps you’re not seeing an opportunity for self-growth in your current workplace, or not feeling recognised for your role and the work you do. There are also the harder to accept, but equally relevant, feelings of being too comfortable or “coasting” in your job.

Because it’s so topical we’ve now given it a label – quiet quitting, rage quitting – or a period of time where you are disengaged with work. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing what you are paid to do, but the problem with coasting is that it can lead to boredom and dissatisfaction, where you are avoiding the fulfilment of your potential.

On the flip side however, there’s no point actively making a career change when you are not clear on what it is exactly that is behind your dissatisfaction. “Anything will be better than my current role” isn’t a good enough motivator. You will likely find that this mindset will lead you down a path of moving from one unfulfilling role to the next. If you’re stuck, consider speaking with a career coach.

Why January/February?

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a massive flood of job seekers in the market for opportunities in the New Year, despite our collective drive to make resolutions a reality. In fact, once you’ve made the decision to pursue a new role, anytime of year is the best time to start looking.

But right now, there are a few factors in the favour of savvy job seekers. It was a challenging resourcing year for employers, which means heading into the New Year with unfilled roles. Businesses are also in the process of setting and approving plans and budgets for the year ahead – and that requires having the right talent in the business to implement those plans and drive strategic imperatives. Basically, the demand for top talent is real.

With the sometimes slow progression of everyone returning to the office from their end of year break, this time of year may mean you have the head space and time to devote to the process. Plus there’s the glow effect of the New Year that gives most of us – from recruiters to hiring managers, and your colleagues and networks – a brighter attitude and outlook towards new beginnings.

Where to start

It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s likely that you’ll have to commence with a stealth job search – looking for your next job while still employed. It is however a simple process of methodically increasing your online and offline visibility.

  • Take a fresh look at your career path and what you want to achieve – you need to have clarity on your professional pitch when you do start reaching out.
  • Spend some time on your profile both online and paper (CV) – LinkedIn is a powerful tool for getting on the radar of employers and recruiters.
  • Start making connections with respected recruiters in your field – let them know that you are open to the right opportunities.
  • Reach out and reconnect with your networks, without announcing that you are searching for a new job – good opportunities are created through good relationships.
  • Keep an eye out for opportunities in your workplace – your next great role could be closer than you realise.

Any downsides?

Here’s the honest and blunt truth – looking for a new career opportunity and following through with a move to a new role, can at times be a stressful process. It’s important to approach this change with the right mindset, one filled with confidence, motivation, positive-thinking and enthusiasm – all of which are often associated with New Year *energy*.

Be bold and brave. It’s worth the risk for long-term career happiness.

Need help?

At Decipher Group, we take your career as seriously as you do. We’ve been connecting talented people with exciting opportunities for over 15 years. Our team are fully committed to making a positive impact for our candidate communities – empowering and enabling talented people to meet their career ambitions. Let’s talk.

The Decipher Team

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People also ask:

A short Q&A with our team on related questions that people commonly search for on Google.

Why is a new job good for you?

From a professional growth perspective, changing jobs, companies, and/or sectors expands your knowledge base and opens you up to new experiences as well as the mental boost gained from positive change and challenge. But this means finding and pursuing high-quality roles, rather than taking the first offer that comes your way.

How do you know when it’s right to change jobs?

Research tells us that motivators for job seekers are linked to salary, work-life balance, or career progression. Ultimately, your gut will tell you when its time to make a change. Don’t ignore it, because the feeling of dissatisfaction can start to impact all areas of your life.

Which month is best for a job switch?

Ultimately, the timing of your job search will have little correlation with a successful outcome. As mentioned above, commencing your search in January/February means you’ll benefit from the momentum of the New Year where both individuals and businesses have a new energy to accomplish goals. There’s also a resourcing shuffle early in the year which may increase your chances of finding a new role.

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